Tasha Jost, a senior at Kennett High School, is a trumpet player and a singer. She started in music in the fourth grade but got more involved outside of school during her sophomore year when she auditioned for and was accepted to New Hampshire's All-State Music program. The following year she was accepted for both All-State and Jazz All-State. She also accepted for a national festival, which afforded her the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
What was the experience of going to D.C. Like?
It was a very cool experience. We performed in the Kennedy Center, so that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There were people from all over the country. A lot of people from Montana. I was the only person from New Hampshire. We stayed there for a whole week and flew out there with my parents. It was a lot of sightseeing and rehearsing. It was definitely a very cool experience.
Did you get to perform for anyone specifically?
I don't think anyone of importance was there other than parents, but it was just being in that building and being on a stage that so many famous people have been on before that was the really cool part.
And what about All-State?
For New Hampshire All-State we'd go to Concord for a weekend each April and you get to work with a guest conductor, usually from a university. Last year I worked with the director from Hofstra University. It is just another cool weekend you get to spend with other high school musicians who are interested in the same things you are interested in.
And you've performed with The Swingtones?
Yep, I did, for I think like three years. I played trumpet and sang with them and that was cool. They've sort of broken into a smaller group since then, so I'm not involved with them anymore.
That was a positive experience?
Yes, definitely. I don't get a lot of opportunity to play big band jazz music and that was just an opportunity that I wouldn't have gotten.
What do you hope to do when you're out of school?
I've auditioned at some colleges and I'm auditioning at UNH this weekend and I'm hoping that I'll be going to a music program either at Ithaca College or UNH next year. That is pretty much, for the next four years, what I want to do, you know, get better at what I do. And then after that? Who knows?
What do you like to perform most?
Style-wise, classical music is my favorite. Playing in a orchestra, if I could have exactly what I wanted that's exactly what I would do, but it is not going to happen most likely.
Would you be open to playing in a jazz band again or a ska band or something like that?
I love ska music. I played in my first ska band at camp this summer and it was very interesting.
What are some of your influences or favorites to listen?
I listen to a lot of Boston Symphony Orchestra. I listen to a lot of musicals too. I guess, actually my dream job would be to play in a pit orchestra on Broadway. I listen to Alison Balsom, she is a female trumpeter from, I believe, England and she's probably who I strive to be most like because she's really making a name for herself in trumpet classical performance and that is just very cool to me.
How has it been balancing academics with music and sports?
Well, I only play one school sport a year and that's volleyball and that happens in the fall. It is really stress at the beginning of year because you've had the whole summer to let your brain just turn to jelly and you come back you're expected to do work and keep your grades up and stay involved. I try to practice [trumpet] once a day for at least an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. I do a lot of homework over the weekends. I have a study hall now so I do homework then, too. But I've done a pretty good job of keeping good grades and balancing friends and family and school.
Have you received a lot of encouragement from the school for your music?
Definitely. My band director and my trumpet teacher, they are both really supportive. Mr. Moylan, whenever he sees me in the hallway, is like “Hey, I read another thing about you” or “I heard your last performance, it was great.” It is definitely a supportive atmosphere there. At home, my sister is a musician and my parents both play instruments, so they totally understand what is going on and they definitely support me.
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